July 31, 2021

Linkage Mag

Geared for the Automotive Life

Picking My Next Sale

Buying and selling is just a part of the car world, but I’m not the kind of person that sells things easily. For me, it’s especially hard when car I’m going to sell is something I’ve either had for a long time or have built myself.

But you can’t argue with math. If you have space for X cars and want to add something new, you’ll eventually have to realize that X+1 does not equal X. 

When you’re faced with this math problem, you either sell, find more space or shove something outside. Pick your poison.

That’s where I am right now, as I’m bringing home a ’67 Chevrolet truck later this month to join my ’66 Caprice and ’79 C10. The promise of a new project is a great thing, but the math isn’t in my favor here. I’ll have two complete vehicles, one very large project and not enough space for everything.

What to do?

Unfinished projects

I’ve long subscribed to the theory that unfinished projects hang around longer than finished ones. 

When I was still young and impressionable, my dad, who was helping me build my first car, took a stand on the final piece of the puzzle on my ’66 Caprice build: “You have to leave something to do, even something small. Otherwise the car’s done and you get bored and sell it.” 

That sounded silly at the time, but his reasoning was sound enough, so I never installed the final four driver’s door panel screws — the ones that run across the bottom of the panel. Twenty-three years later, those little stainless screws are still rattling around in the car’s glovebox. It’s a silly minor thing that most people would never notice, but I’ve decided that I can’t sell the car until I install them. It’s not done, right?

All these years later, his silly theory has proven correct. At least for me.

For the LS-powered RideTech-equipped ’79 C10 that I just finished last year, the final piece of the puzzle was a seatbelt swap. The truck had a white interior and I converted everything to black when I was rebuilding it as the subject for my book on custom C10s — everything but the seatbelts. The white belts stood out, but black originals are hard to find and aftermarket units come in a variety of qualities that I wasn’t yet willing to sample. Plus, in my head, even though the truck was running and driving, I couldn’t sell it because of those dumb white belts. Regardless of a booming truck market and any other driving forces, the fun wasn’t over and the truck wasn’t done yet. 

Justification is still justification, even when you have to contort and stretch to reach it. Still, as mentioned above, now I have a math problem. I need to move something out to make space for my next project. 

What to sell? 

One day the to-go car was my Caprice, the next day it was the truck. My daughter Katie (9) wants to keep them both with a hard lean toward the C10. My daughter Emma (3) thinks they’re both too loud, so we’ll call her undecided. My wife Kristina and I went on our first date in the Caprice back in 2003, so that’s her choice of a keeper. Me? I don’t know.

I’ve been thinking about this since October without much movement. Then I had a revelation: I stopped thinking in terms of cars and started thinking in terms of unfinished parts and projects. 

All of a sudden, that silly theory stopped seeming so silly.

What’s left to do on each and what would be harder for me to accept? Finally installing those four screws in my first car or fitting a set of black seatbelts in my last build?

Officially, I’m still not decided on what I’m going to do. But my new black seatbelts arrived this past weekend, and after all those months fretting over quality, they ended up looking just fine.

But I haven’t ruled out putting a lift in my garage yet, either.